The State of East Africa Report 2013 launched Friday anticipates improvement in the quality of life of East Africans through attainment of sustainable growth by promotion of a balanced and harmonious development.
According to a statement of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), the report launched by Society for International Development (SID), suggests equal distribution of benefits and commitment to people centered and market driven competition as envisaged by the EAC Treaty.
The report themed: One People, One Destiny: the future of inequality in East Africa, reports of trends in the last two decades pointing to reducing inequalities in the republics of Rwanda and Burundi.
It noted that the gap between the rich and poor was expanding in Kenya and Tanzania while Uganda has kept stable.
“On malnutrition, 42% of the region’s 24 million children under five were stunted in 2010. The Report however states that the region achieved the global target of 100% gross enrolment at primary school level,” reads part of the EALA statement.
It paints a fairly good picture of the EAC’s economy, stating that it recorded an impressive growth rate trend of 6% in 2011 and a GDP of $83 billion. However corruption, as the report maintains, continues to blight the landscape of East Africa’s important institutions, including those responsible for security and justice.
Speaking at the launch of the report, the Speaker of EALA, Margaret Nantongo Zziwa, called on the region to seek solutions to the existing inequalities as a pre-cursor to progress and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), saying the EAC needed a stronger social economic fibber.
“Seven out of the ten persons you see walking out there on the streets are jobless, while another 6 out of 10 live in informal settlements. The largest population, the youth, constitute about 8 out of 10 persons and their age range is below 30 years. Many are jobless and live below a dollar a day. This is a trend that needs to change,” Zziwa said.
The Speaker called on stakeholders to join in the task of securing an economic future of East Africa.
Headquartered in Rome, Italy, SID is an international network of individuals and organizations founded in 1957 to promote social justice and foster democratic participation in the development process.
Through locally driven programmes and activities, SID which has over 30 chapters and 3000 Members in more than 50 countries, strengthens collective empowerment, facilitates dialogue and knowledge sharing on people-centred development strategies and promotes policy change towards inclusiveness, equity and sustainability.